What was the Middle East originally called?

Answered by Robert Flynn

The Middle East was originally referred to as the Near East. This term was coined by early Western geographers and historians who sought to divide the Orient into distinct regions. The Near East encompassed the central part of this larger area.

The division of the Orient into three regions was a common practice among these early geographers. The Near East referred to the central part, while the Far East denoted the easternmost portion, and the Middle East represented the area in between. However, it is important to note that these divisions were primarily based on a Western perspective and may not accurately reflect the historical or cultural realities of the region.

The term “Near East” has since fallen out of favor, and the region is now commonly referred to as the Middle East. This change in terminology reflects a shift in perspective and a desire to move away from Eurocentric views of the world. The Middle East includes countries such as Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, among others.

Personally, I find it fascinating how the naming of regions can reflect the biases and perspectives of those who coin the terms. As an expert in the field, I strive to understand and present the historical and cultural nuances of the Middle East without perpetuating any Western-centric biases.

The Middle East was originally called the Near East by early Western geographers and historians. This term was part of a larger division of the Orient into three regions, with the Near East referring to the central part. However, the term Middle East is now more commonly used to describe the region, reflecting a broader and more inclusive perspective.